Evaluation: Stage West's boy band present steps again in time and delivers the products

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Nostalgia takes the highlight in Stage West’s vacation musical Step by Step which runs on the dinner theatre till Feb. 3.

These authentic live performance tribute exhibits are the brainchild of Stage West’s government producer Howard Pechet and, over the previous 20 years, have develop into, not simply staples. however among the many firm’s hottest fare.

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Whether or not they spotlight a selected musical decade or a style akin to The British Invasion, Hollywood Highlights, the California Sound or One Hit Wonders, these exhibits are at all times explosions of high-energy tune and dance routines.

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This time round, Pechet has teamed up with Toronto director and choreographer Liz Gilroy to focus on the phenomenon of boy bands which gained prominence in 1960 with the formation of The Beatles in Liverpool. Boy bands have topped the music charts ever since, with teams like One Route carrying the mantle of meteoric success into the 2010s.

From idea to execution, quite a lot of effort, analysis and expertise go into creating these exhibits, and Step by Step is a first-rate instance of the way it all works.

Stage West’s resident musical director Conrad Pluta organized 55 songs for this specific overview after which left his work with Lisa MacDougall, Jeff Farfard, Carl Janzen and Darcy Johnstone to offer the colourful reside musical accompaniment.

Leslie Robison-Greene and Jen Gareau’s costumes, and Deb Planidin-Turcios’ wigs immediately evoke the fashion of particular bands and drastically change the seems to be of the actors in order that it appears there are far more than 12 males within the solid. That is significantly true for such teams as The Monkees, The Bay Metropolis Rollers, The Bee Gees, Duran Duran and Wham!, who had such distinctive seems to be.

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Stage West
The ensemble solid of Stage West’s Step by Step within the finale. jpg

Gilroy, who additionally directed the present, finds novel methods to maintain Step by Step from seeming like a live performance. She has Again Avenue Boys and NSYNC have a mock problem, which finally ends up exhibiting how indistinguishable the 2 teams have been. For The Bee Gees and Seashore Boys units, she turns issues over to Eric Dahlinger to offer some nice choreography, highlighting that the dozen performers are actual triple threats. For the Bee Gees, Jason Lemmon and Luke Opdahl recreate these nice John Travolta strikes. Dahlinger works extra visible magic for the Seashore Boys medley, and Gilroy makes use of Lemmon and Kory Fulton’s surfer dudes as eye sweet.

Gilroy and Dahlinger be sure every of the actors has a number of star turns. Opdahl makes a most convincing Peter Noone when Herman’s Hermits deal with Mrs. Brown You’ve Received a Pretty Daughter and I’m Into One thing Good.

Niko Combitsis has mastered Frankie Valli’s falsetto, and he’s nicely supported by his 4 Seasons in Mason Sonntag, Fulton and Lemmon. Eric DaCosta makes a convincing Barry Gibb, and although he doesn’t seem like Andy Gibb, Andrew McAllister has that voice down pat.

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Luciano Decicco turns up the cheeky part to pay tribute to George Michael for Wham!, and to be true to Michael’s accomplice Andrew Ridgeley, Sonntag realized to play the saxophone. That’s how detailed this firm needs to be.

The tribute to Maroon 5 is among the most intelligent. Over time, Adam Levine drastically modified his seems to be and fashions so Gilroy has Combitsis, McAllister, Jessie Weafer, Adam Sergison and Sonntag every play a unique incarnation, with Sonntag ripping off his shirt to disclose Levine’s distinctive tattoos that are recreated on a really convincing physique stocking.

A giant shout out to Caulin Moore who performs Ringo within the Beatles medley for faking the drum enjoying. You’d swear it’s Moore and never Jeff Fafard someplace behind him.

Set designer Sean Ellis provides the actors and band members ranges to work on so nothing appears flat, and has supplied continuous projections which present the precise performers.

Step by Step is a extremely entertaining journey down reminiscence lane even in case you don’t keep in mind all 20 teams highlighted within the present.

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